Wednesday, December 23, 2009

In Which Frye Makes Me Cry (Not Really, But It Was Close)

I go through a lot of boots. I mostly wear dresses, and as I walk everywhere and therefor can't wear heels most days I pretty much live in tall boots. I wear them fairly hard too. I have a weird heel wear pattern and rarely get through a season without having to get a zipper replaced. I blame the zipper issue partially on my chubby calves, which cause a little buckling around the ankle, which is where the zip eventually fails.  And it's not that I'm buying cheap boots either. I do, however, balk at spending over $300 on footwear. Which is why I've been having a quarter decade unfulfilled love affair with Frye.

Frye boots are amazing. Sadly they're also hella trendy and everywhere now. And by everywhere I mean I've seen them at Winners. Not the styles I'm particularly smitten with, but still. I've had my eye on the Veronica Slouch for years, but haven't been happy with the brown the past few seasons. They've been doing a weird distressed thing, which I can't get down with (not apparent in the photo above, but super obvious on the physical beast). Whaddup with that, Frye? But these bad boys accommodate my monster calf and don't have a zipper, so booya, boots that might see a few Septembers. I've been patiently waiting for the right brown to come about, using that time to convince myself that I'd be better off dropping a short stack of Borden's (like Benjamin's, only Canadian) on one pair of boots with workmanship that will get me through a few seasons.

And then ....

I found these.

That's right, a Frye boot named after me. Well, maybe not named after me, exactly, but c'mon, there's a kinship there. Sort of like how I felt about Melissa Gilbert and Melissa Sue Anderson (Laura and Mary Ingalls to you). And come to think of it, these boots would have looked quite at home in Walnut Creek.

But I digress.

I've been seeing these everywhere, it's like they're stalking me. On many of my favorite fashion blogs, (see, Jessica at What I Wore knows what's down) on a lady on Fort Street I chased down to ask about them. She said it was her first day wearing them and she'd been comfy-cosy-no-sore-feet for eight hours. These, boots ... despite the terrifyingly narrow looking shaft, well, I had to swallow my pride and try.

So I went to Footloose today after work and, dear sweet baby Jesus (BTW - happy birthday!) they were on sale. Of course the lovely little pixie behind the till was wearing them. Tease. So I tried them on, and for a moment there was hope. Then horror of horrors ... wait for it .... my calf ...

My calf had a muffin top.

That's right. They didn't go up all the way because the gargantuan latitude of my calf prevented the sweet buttery leather from sliding up the full length, forcing some very 80s scrunching in the boot and some very unflattering flesh squeeze above it.

So no early Christmas present for me. No hints dropped to Hank that he can save himself the trouble of a ring and just offer these up with the promise of eternal love and stylish foot comfort. I'll stay just as I am, hobbling along on last year's worn-heel beauties, waiting for the right brown to come about in the Veronica Slouch.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thursday Five - Ways I Might Die or Sustain Major Injury

Pardon the morbidity, but I've been giving this a lot of thought lately. Not because I have some weird death fetish thing, but because I am really accident prone and a touch of a hypochondriac. Seriously. Ever see my try to walk?

1. Trip Over Griffin and Hit my Head
When I first got Griffin (14ish years ago) a friend of mine nicknamed him Underfoot because he always is. I've tripped over, stepped on, punted and kicked the stinky little ginge (accidentally, obviously) innumerable times over the years, and he still has the nerve to act all indignant. Whatever, Griffin. I picture me bailing over the cat and hitting my head or neck like that scene in Million Dollar Baby. Craaaack. And I'm dead, or worse, paralyzed.

Plotting the next attack. 

2. Choke on a Hair Pin
I have a bad habit of holding hair pins in my mouth while putting my hair up. It would be just my style to somehow inhale and choke on one.

3. Brain Tumor
 Over the past few years I've been fairly convinced I've had all of the following - lupus (hypochondriac favorite because it can explain so many random symptoms), breast cancer, lyme disease, the herp, colitis, inflammatory bowel disease ... among others. But brain tumors ... oh man, I keep coming back to that one. Random stabbing pains in the head? Brain tumor! Lumpy forhead? Brain tumor! Weird vision things? Brain tumor! Most likely I'm just really tired and have a naturally lumpy skull, but part of me is always in fear of a tumor. Anurysm's, clots, and other brain maladies freak me out too. I totally had to stop watching House, because it just fed the fear.

4. Random Bystander Victim of Violence
 I've both witnessed a stabbing and narrowly missed being plugged by a stray bullet. So narrowly that the concrete shrapnel from the wall the bullet lodged in hit my friend in the face. True story. I've also stepped in to break up fights on the street, which is pretty stupid given that people tend to get shot, stabbed or severely beaten trying to help in such situations.

5. Under an Avalanche of Pots in My Kitchen
I love my hanging pot rack. It keeps the kitchen tidy and frees up cupboard space. However, it's right above my chopping block, and I've several times thought 'damn, this would be a terrible place to be standing during an earthquake'.

Pot Rack of Death

Do you have any weird phobias? Ways you think the Reaper might getcha?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Merry Christmas to Me?

I popped the heel off a boot yesterday. Now, this is by no means a tragedy. The heels and zippers had already been replaced once, and though they still look good, they're leaky in the rain. And it rains here. A lot. I've been keeping an eye out for a stylish-yet-practical pair of boots to replace them, as I rely pretty heavily on them for my on-foot commute to work. Tis the season for great prices, and I'm in the market. So what did I come home with today?


Jump's Bliss Boot. Indeed.

Ok. I may have missed the mark on practical.

But here's the deal. I saw them yesterday. I fondled them. I loved them. I did not try them on. I spent a good 30 minutes last night searching online to no avail (turns out I had the brand wrong). I went back at lunch today. They weren't on the shelf! 'Oh noes!' I though. 'Did I dream them? We're they at a different store? Was I high?' The I saw it. On the sale wall. $40 off. And only one pair in each of the colours. And both in my size. This never happens. I am an 8.5 or 9, which seems big, but is surprisingly standard. Usually last one left's are more in the range of 5.5 or 10. So see, it was meant to be. I struggled with the purple or black decision - black is so practical, but most of my shoes are black, and I thought I'd wear the purple ones more in the spring. So these entirely impractical purple boots now call my feet home, which leaves me with a small matter of replacing leaky day-to-day wear black boots to deal with.

I also picked up a new Moleskine day planner, which I will use to record lists and my one good idea, per the white person mandate.

And because that wasn't enough giving to myself this holiday season, my A Year In Yes Calendar came in the mail this morning.


It actually came while I was reading Yes and Yes , which was kind of funny. I know I can be a bit of a cynic and don't usually go for inspirational type stuff, but most of it is garden variety kittens n' quotes and Chicken Soup for the Soul type scmaltz, and that shit straight up makes me gag. This little gem though ... it's so pretty and thoughtful and charming with a dash of irreverence. I may have teared up a little. It also came with a little handwritten note from the lovely Sarah Von, who I think I might be developing a bit of a blogger crush on. I think you should check it out. It's a lovely gift, for yourself or a bestie, and at $18 is on par price wise with the big glossies. And you get the satisfaction of knowing that your money is going to an actual person, who put time and effort and heart into making something beautiful and putting it out into the world.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Winter Skin

OK, I know this makes me a total pansy, and, having done time in Kingston and Montreal I should be tougher than this, but oh. my. god ... my skin is freaking out with this cold, dry air. How did the Ingalls ladies maintain their healthy, warm glow with all the manual labour and walking miles into town for an education in the blustery snow wearing thin lace-up boots and tights, and with only a wood stove to keep them warm at night? I'm starting to empathize! Yes, I know it's barely -1, and everyone east of Hope has it so much harder, but whatever, when you live in Xanadu you soften up.

The problem isn't my face. It's holding up rather well. I've had my seasonal blemish, and am so over it. It's everything else. Mostly my legs. I swear, the other day they were so dry and itchy I wouldn't have been surprised to see -looks around, and whispers - flaking. Ewww! They're so dry it hurts to shave. But I am an optimist, and don't believe in neglecting maintenance just because it's not summer, so maintain I will! My arms and back are also feeling the cold, and I'm sure sleeping in a 16 degree bedroom isn't helping.

I'm not a huge fan of heavy moisturizers and tend towards body oils. I've been using this Alba Kuki Nut Organic Body Oil for a while now.

It has a light but nutty, summery scent that makes me want to have someone snuggle in close, so I try to not hold it responsible for the fact that it also makes me think of Jessica Alba's sourpuss face every time I use it. It's not the product's fault any more than it's my fault that my surname was used in a KY ad. I mean really ... KY is for amateurs. But I digress. Back to the Alba oil, sadly though I'm not sure it's going to get me through the winter. It might be relegated to spring/summer status.

So, if anyone out there wants to toss the name of their favorite light-by-effective moisturizing product my way my verging on flaky legs and I would surely thank you.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

She's So Delicious

Just a wee note to say that I've started a sister blog to for my experiements in the kitchen. If looking at fashion makes you hungry, or you need something to munch on post bowl-smoking as you chillax to a podcast, pop on over to She's So Delicious for a little divine inspiration.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Versatile Dress, with a Side of Boob

I love having boobs and curve and all that, but am a little jealous of more conservatively endowed women who can rock the no bra, super slouchy or super architectural and structured look. I've been mooning over this dress (found at Wear it Like You Mean It), but think it's more appropriate on a Kate Husdon type body. 

She sells some pretty sweet and very versatile peices on here on etsy. I love the idea of having a dress that can be worn several ways (and bonus, is reversible), and think this is so much more original and contemporary than the Infinite Dress, which may or may not be the same one I remember seeing as a kid on the Home Shopping Network. Donna Karen and American Apparel have versions of it too (and half of Craftster seems to have made versions) but they're basically just a jersey tube with two long, wide straps that can be wrapped several ways. Although the Donna Karen one does at least have some volume on the skirt part, which gives me more hope for the hips than the AA version, which has a so-3-years-ago asymetical raw hem or the the Infinite Dress, which screams Real Housewives of Orange County resort wear, and would go fantastically well with a Bumpit.

What do you think? Is there hope for a dress like this working on a girl that's packing heat front and back? Or is it the domain of the lithe, lean, braless wonders?

Saturday, December 05, 2009

1,591,311th Best (or Worst?) at Something. Yeah Me!

It's Saturday night and I had tentative plans to go to the Mint Records Christmas Party at Logan's to see the Pack AD. Instead I decided to complete my transformation to Sad Old Bastard by donning my new seasonal (snowflake!) flannel pjs and curling up on the couch with a 14 year old bulimic ginger cat for a nap. I win at life. 

Of course, the geriatric ginger had to wake me up (by yowling in my face) so he could refuel his vomit cannon, so now I'm awake and in that weird not ready to go to bed place. Thanks, cat.

So what's a girl to do? Something that requires almost no effort and will kill a good half hour? 

If said girl is a bit of narcissist the answer is Google self. Obviously. So I Googled shessomelicious and was surprised and amused to find that much of what came up, even before this blog, was Twitter related. For instance, a tweet meme from a friend's summer post about an eye patch I embroidered for him. (Click images to enlarge)

And some site that posts tweets about love and seduction, although mine is really about my love for nerdy Canadian indy music.

And my personal make my mama proud favorite ... someone (Richard Henry) with too much time on their hands has created a site that tracks swearing in Twitter posts, and apparently I swear like a bad golfer.

That's right, bitches, I'm ranked  1,591,311th sweariest Twitterer in the world. 

I'm being outsworn by  Dooce (543,953 - swears like a Gangsta Rapper) and the ladies from The Boobs who both swear like George Carlin, despite the wide gap in their rankings (glossyloca is ranked 34,673 desboobs is 5,710th).

I don't really know what the rankings are, but if there's something more along the lines of swears like a redneck that just found out her husband is her brother ... well, I'm going to make that my goal.

Mama Wants

Meet the Tord Boontje for Habitat Garland Lampshade. I want it so bad my teeth hurt.

I want this. I want it bad. Does anyone know where I can get it in BC? Even the ones on eBay are in the UK. Booo!!!! I'm fairly sure I've seen it in a store, am thinking an art gallery? Maybe the VAG? That would be grand. Could have been the MOCA in LA. That would be less convenient. 

It's sooooo pretty, and will go so nicely in my soon to be redecorated bedroom. Silver or copper would do.

Please keep your peepers peeled. 

Thursday, November 26, 2009

This Ain't Yo Mama's Art Class

I take art classes. There. I said it. I can't draw my way across a straight line (never mind an Deadwoodesque pistol battle!), I've lost my previously honed skills for determining development time and density in the darkroom, and I just made a mess of my first mold / casting project, but whatever ... I take them anyways.


Because (despite the suckage) I love them. Not as much as I love lanky men, Macedonian feta or Movember, but I love them.

And also ... art classes are ripe for the sweet sweet comedy!

Doubters? Check these gems from a unit on pinhole photography.

'I'm going to have to check your holes.'

'You're hole is too big.'

'Hmmmm ... your hole looks a little rough.'

Seriously? You expect me to keep a straight face?

(Keep in mind, despite my early-30s-nerdy-lady-skin-suit, I'm really just a sexually frustrated 15 year old boy on the inside.)

Or these more recent panty-wetters, courtesy of sculpture class.

'You get it wet, get it hot, bend it a bit. Get it wet, get it hot, bend it a bit.'

'See how rigid I can make it.'

I am not making this up. You can check my notes. Yes, I am juvenile enough to write this stuff down, but whatever. I also take copious and accurate notes during Art:21 screenings (because PBS flippin' rocks). So suck it, haters.

However, despite my propensity for inappropriate outbursts of gigglage, during a recent video demo on mold making using a live model I was one of the few not giggling uncomfortably and making gynocological comments as two men slathered think blue goo all over woman wearing nothing more than what appeared to be:

Nia Vardalos' hair:

and Revlon Toast of New York lipstick (Helllooooo 90s!).

(Check out Cindy rocking my high school fantasy look! I had a few five finger discount Toast of NewYork lipsticks and a foot-wide [ok, 1.5 inch] barreled curling iron with which I attempted those casual waves, but that's another post.)

Not only was I not giggling, but I was actually annoyed at missing the instructional dialogue in the wake of giggles as the goo was slathered on her breasts and pubic area. I did manage to catch a sweet tip regarding excessive body hair / pubes - the model should slather on petroleum jelly or thick conditioner ... apparently out Nia lookalike went with conditioner.

Yes, I've had The Flaming Lips' She Don't Use Jelly in my head since Wednesday.

But I digress. Point being, I was adult-like and annoyed at the disruption to my learning - a fact that loans further credence to my assertion that I have a personality distorting brain tumor.

However, I thing I redeemed myself fully in this fine moment shared with a Fairway's cashier upon dashing down to purchase petroleum jelly for the class to use as a resist in our plaster molds.

Me (approaching the cashier with three tubs of Vasaline): 'Ummmm .... It's for an art class.'

Cashier (snickering): 'I wasn't going to ask.'

Me: 'That's about as awkward as buying nothing but a lone cucumber.'

Cashier: 'Oh ... or a carrot.' *

Me: 'Hmmm ... cucumber's too ambitious?'

* I just about peed the couch tonight watching Withnail and I ... Uncle Monty's tirade about the quality of root vegetables (carrots in particular) vs. flowers:

" The carrot has mystery. Flowers are essentially tarts. Prostitutes for the bees. There is, you will agree, a certain je ne sais quoi, oh so very special, about a firm young carrot."

Well said, Monty, well said.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mixtape #7 - Post 33rd Birthday Burnout Mix

True to the title of this mix, I burned out on posting it. Rest assured, it provided a fantastic aural backdrop to the Sunday morning post-birthday burnout and breakfast with the five go-hards that were scattered across various furniture and floor locales in the morning. I myself awoke in a sleeping bag on the bathroom floor ... but it was a preventive measure only. So far my 30s are pretty barf free (from drinking, anyways). I'm such a grown-up.

I have to give a big thank you shout-out to everyone that made my 33rd so fantastic. Friends I've known for up to 16 years ( I love you Jay!) and friendships that are barely months in the making. A few I've just recently reconnected with and am so happy to have back in my life. You all made it so very special and I absolutely adore you all.

Hopefully this little mix will come in handy for your turkey comas.

Tracklist (no cover on account of still burning out).

1. Death By Ninja (A Love Song) - Woodpigeon
2. Auburn and Ivory - Beach House
3. Some Say (I Got Devil) - Bonnie "Prince" Billy/Tortoise
4. Silent Signs - DeYarmond Edison
5. Colors - Amos Lee
6. Stay Free - Black Mountain
7. Mango Tree - Angus & Julia Stone
8. Daydreamer - Adele
9. At Sea - Electrelane
10. That Sea, The Gambler - Gregory Alan Isakov
11. Rocket Man - My Morning Jacket
12. Who's Lauging? - Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson
13. One Wing - Wilco
14. Low Man - Alberta Cross
15. Jolene - Ray LaMontagne
16. Wake up Time - Tom Petty
17. Metropol 47 - Mark Kozelek
18. Everybody But Me - Lykke Li
19. All Tomorrow's Parties - The Velvet Underground

To add to podcasts: if you are already subscribed hit refresh. If not, in iTunes go to Advanced, Subscribe to Podcast, and paste in this: You can also click on the post title to link to a downloadable file.

Have a fantastic long weekend.

xo ~ m

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Mixtape #6 - Happy Frick Frackin' 33rd (Peppy)

It was my birthday yesterday. Mostly it was a normal day - worked, went to class, drank beer - except I got to squeeze in a lovely dinner with my lovely mother, and my lunchtime tea came with a side of whiskey. My Facebook saw more action than usual ... sadly my junk did not.

The birthdonk throwdown is Saturday, and I had fully intended to get CD invites out a month ago. Clearly that didn't happen and the best I managed was a crappy PDF'd email invite. What? I've been busy!

So instead the Frick Frackin' 33rd Birthday Soundtrack is coming to you in the form of two podcasts. That's right, I said two. A peppy mix for throwing back drinks and gettin' yer hair did pre-party, and a mellowish post-party sunday morning burnout mix for the day after. Hopefully I'll get that one posted tomorrow.

So, for now, a little juice to get your padunk shimmying.

(Image links to a downloadable cover)

1. Two Weeks - Grizzly Bear (you jerks in Vancouver can see them Oct. 14th at the Vogue.)
2. When U Love Somebody - Fruit Bats
3. After the Curtain - Beirut
4. To the Lighthouse - Patrick Wolf
5. Tone Bank Jungle - Holy Fuck
6. We Share Our Mothers' Health - The Knife
7. Michael - Franz Ferdinand
8. Rise & Fall - The Racoons
9. Thy Will Be Done - Handsome Furs
10. Believe in Yourself - Disasteradio
11. Raise Me Up - Hercules and Love Affair
12. Move With Your Lover - Ghostland Observatory
13. Feelgood By Numbers - The Go! Team
14. Atoms Tomb - Electrelane
15. You! Me! Dancing! - Los Campesinos!
16. She's Lost Control - Joy Division
17. Come In Alone - My Bloody Valentine
18. Graveyard Girl - M83
19. I Quit Girls - Japandroids

To add to podcasts: if you are already subscribed hit refresh. If not, in iTunes go to Advanced, Subscribe to Podcast, and paste in this: You can also click on the post title to link to a downloadable file.

Monday, September 21, 2009


This is going to be sort of a quickie because I've been doing work for this little project pretty much since I got home from work, but I want to get something up because I think it's sort of silly that I haven't posted about this yet.

I am, in collaboration with Quinton Gordon and Diana Millar at Luz Gallery (the brand spankin' new contemporary photography gallery at 977A Fort Steet), coordinating the local effort for the global Help-Portrait project. There are, as of today 179 groups registered globally ... plus a load that haven't made the transition from Facebook to the official community page.

This project, started Jeremy Cowart, is a movement among photographers doing portraits of people that aren't able to afford traditional avenues of portraiture. This could be single mothers, orphans, the lonely, the sick, your neighbor, the homeless. It is photography for the sake of giving pictures, not taking them.

I won't do Jeremy's vision justice, so please watch this introductory video.

There has been strong interest in Victoria among photographers, but we need a small army. Not just photographers but creative, compassionate people of all types, willing to give their time to give something back. So, if you are interested in participating, or know someone who might be (makeup artists, hairstylists, children's entertainers, drivers, caterers, people who can provide locations/studio space ...) please let me know.

Also, and very importantly, if you can think of any individuals or organizations that might be interested in receiving portraits I'm looking to form a list of potential partners / participants.

I can be contacted at . We also have a group page on the Help-Portrait Community Page (that would be a link).

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Countdown to My Bornday

As previously mentioned, I have sort of a love / hate relationship with September. Seasonally, it's my favorite. The fall wardrobe staples (hello, knee-high boot collection!) are reintroduced, but it's not so cold and wet as to fuck up my hair royally. School supply shopping is invigorating and never makes me feel fat ... and given that this year I'm taking sculpture should be extra exciting, though really, a fresh pack of pens and looseleaf is still pretty much porn for me.

On the less awesome side, with my bornday on the last day of the month it's also sort of a countdown to the Crushing. Realization. That. I'm. Still. Just. Me.

Whatev's. Regardless of my intensely narcissistic self loathing I still fucking love my birthday. This may be noted by the fact that every year I throw myself a shindig. Now, granted, a disproportinate number of my BFFs have birthday's around mine, so these are often shared events, but that just makes them all the sweeter. Right Dan/Michelle/Olga/Helen/Chelsea/Wendy?

Anywhoo ... as some of you know, this year for my birthday I get a colonoscopy. Yippee! On the downside ... gross. On the upside ... maybe I'll finally get some idea of why I feel so like ass (literally and figuratively) most of the time. My birthday is on a Wednesday (and, of course I'll be in class until 9:30 pm) and then I get to take the next two days off to suffer the indignity of getting-a-camera-hammered-up-my-butt prep. Happy fucking 33rd!

Needless to say, the birthdonk is going to have to hold off until Saturday the 3rd. That is, if I'm not one of the lucky few that get the extra joy of a perforated colon/emergency surgery/phlebitis (don't ask). So, let this serve as a reminder to keep the Saturday after my birthday /colon-camera-hell free. I'm trying to work out a fundraiser (no, not for me, for the Lukemia and Lymphomia Society, in memory of my lovely stepfather) birthdonk party, but the wheels are slow on the movement, so it may be a house-party. Either way, keep it free.

Now, not that I'm expecting anything, ever, in the way of giftage, but since people have been asking (Hi Dad!) here are a few ideas:

Bike - Mine was stolen. It was also free, so fair game. Something oldish and awesomeish (craigslist-ish) - fixed gears need not apply. Step-through, at least 5 speed. Something like this.

Or this:

Clearly used and old is fine - and yes, I have cleared apartment storage to avoid another theft situation, lease restrictions be damned!

New Keyboard - Someone spilled wine allthefuckover my confuser and keyboard at a party last year. I am now suffering the indignity of a tangerine iMac G3 keyboard with no forward delete key. This will not do. What mama needs is this.

Mounting an articulating keyboard tray on my redonk high desk would buy bonus points, relieving my chronic scolioid agony and saving me from sitting on a stack of pillows that would make that Ol' Princess and the Pea bitch feel like a pussy.

National Geographic Binocular Camera - (not to be confused with the plain ol' binoculars). Granted, these are impossible to find even on eBay, so it's more of an if-you-ever-stumble-across-one-at-a-garage-sale-slash-second-hand-store situation. It's a kid's toy. I covet it. So what?

Bedsheets - White. Queen. Extra deep pockets. Embarrassingly high thread count. If you are lucky I'll let you help me break them in. (Note: This offer does not extend to immediate family.)

Mixtapes - Please. If you need direction here ... well ... you might be beyond my help.

I know I've been on the Narcisco train lately, but Chanel Mademoiselle always makes a great gift in a pinch-hit situation. As does a tasty Pinot. As does a well-intended and sincerely delivered hug.

xo ~ m

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

For the First Time in My Life, I Think I'd Rather Take the C+

I had a lovely night. An unexpected impromptu dinner with a really lovely new friend, and one of his oldest friends. We're talking early childhood. Such a dynamic could have been awkward (third wheel, anyone?) but I've been feeling the void in male friendships lately, and it was really quite nice to spend time with two men who have such a strongly rooted friendship. And as those of you that know me know, I'm not someone that could be described as verbally reticent. But for several hours I really quite happy to mostly shut up and listen.

Now, this new friend, I'll admit to being at times a little in awe of him. He's beautiful, kind, involved in all the creative things that I am generally intimidated by, seemingly fearless - or maybe more accurately unaffected by my good friend self-doubt ...every time we hang out I find out an intriguing little nugget that makes me want to know more. About who his is, what he's done/doing - which is seemingly everything. I mean really, how many people do you know that can whip out a straightjacket and demo their escape maneuvers?

Anyhow, the straightjacket lead to a conversation about learning to do new things, and he asserted that 80% of people, with enough practice over about two years, have the aptitude to become adequate at almost anything - we're talking C+ level (the only rating system my overly academically geared mind understands). He said this like it was a good thing. A reason-to-try-new-things-type-thing. And my first reaction to that was 'eh ... two years for a C+? Why would I invest all that time and energy into something just to be mediocre at it?'

Which is of course the balls-est reaction possible.

And which I immediately had the common sense to be utterly horrified by.

I don't think it's exactly a national secret that my mid-life crisis started somewhere pre quarter-life. I've never felt like I've developed into the person I should be, or want to be. That person does not have a desk job. She spends her days making things and connecting with people. She is impulsive with her heart, not her wallet. She is more politically minded and civically active. She is less cynical and judgmental. She isn't dissuaded from taking classes or shaking her ass on a dance floor or picking up a guitar or mike because she might not be good at it (duh, that's what we call learning). She indulges and develops her creative proclivities. She looks different. She thinks different. She is, to quote Fight Club, free in all the ways I am not.

She is my Tyler Durden. Without the whole pissing in the soup thing.

Now, I'll concede that I've made a few small strides in some of these areas. I quit taking classes where I write about art with the assurance that I'll get an A+ (and then bitch about the 10% I lost, regardless of the fact that it wouldn't change the grade) in favor of taking art classes where I actually learn about and get my hands dirty with art ... and utterly suck at. I'm not being self-deprecating, I really do suck. I also really enjoy it. Mostly. I did six months of nasty ass, back agony inducing bootcamp, which I can't say I ever enjoyed, but I got through. Now, some of that has been undone by my good frenemy whiskey and his band of accomplices (French Fry, I'm calling you out!) but whatever, I did it despite the paralyzing knowledge that I indeed looked like the fatty at the gym. I'm warming up to the idea of the learning process being something to be enjoyed, not rushed through to meet the goal of Being. Awesome. At. Something.

But still, I feel like The Nothing is hovering behind me, ever urgently reminding me to move forward, move faster. And I feel like my feet are stuck in the quicksand. Like some stupid little synapse in my head keeps firing a message that I can't quit my job and start into something I'll actually, gulp, enjoy because I:
  • have dick all savings despite making decent money; and
  • despite being good at a lot of things I enjoy, I am not pay-the-bills good at anything.
Now a different person might look at these two things and say "ok, Sugartits, what we need here is a plan. You're going to have to make some compromises, and that's going to hurt, but a lot of people get through life without dozens of shoes and a bulldozer load of MAC. They don't exactly turn you into Zooey Deschanel anyways. Make yourself a schedule, chart out some goals, brush up on whatever your most marketable skill that you actually enjoy is *, and let's get to work on making that happen. And while you're at it, practice the damn guitar more, get your ass to karaoke, take the damn dance class, book a frigging tattoo appointment already and and generally get over your insufferably self-indulgent self-deprecation. It's almost come full circle to a point of a whole new depressing brand of narcissism."

Now, before you get your panties all tied in a knot because you love me and think I'm just swell (hi Mom!) be assured this isn't a woe-is-me-need-for-assurance thing. I know that in a lot of ways I'm a pretty excellent person. I'm smart, kind, warm, witty, considerate, generous, thoughtful, admirably skilled in many domestic pursuits and more creative than at least your average tree stump. On a really good hair day during a week that I haven't been worshiping at the alter of beer, burgers and sedentariness I'll allow for not hard to look at. These are all good things. Things I'd like the superior C+ version of me to also embody.

I guess the question is - would I rather be a comfortable and unchallenged A or A+ version (though I'd say I'm hovering around a B+) of the person I've defaulted to, or a C+ version of the person I want to be? Even knowing that it could take years to achieve it, if indeed it's even something with an end goal? I mean really, a person worth being is one that continues to be challenged, learn and change, right?

September is traditionally the toughest month for me. With my birthday on the last day of the month it usually marks 30 days of Oh shit. Another year gone, and I'm still the same me. Which is just as depressing and unproductive as it sounds. So I think this year, in partnership with (as of the 7th) Sober September, I am going to break with tradition and spend that time and mental energy launching the C+ version of me.

Because there's just no sense of accomplishment in striving for an A+ in the status quo.

* note, not troubleshooting things like CAP LOCK ON, cleaning up after other people, or bloody copyediting.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Mix Tape #5 - Songs for Stargazing

Here's a little hint for you, internets.

When you are seeing someone, even ever-so-casually, and they go really far out of their way (because they are awesome and also know that no one is really doing anything for your born day) to give you and awesome birthday with dinner, and wine/gifts/homemade cake and kite flying at the beach followed by hanging out at Esquimalt Lagoon stargazing and listening to your crafted-for-birthday-stargazing-mix-cd, do not, under any circumstances reward said awesomeness by telling them








a few days before but decided against because, well, those things are never as good an idea as they seem, and one of the girls seem a little nuts, and ended up drunk and crying anyways.

I mean really, it's just rude.

This mix starts with a birthday song and is on the relatively mellow side, so consider this a freebie from your mixtape pinch-hitter when you find yourself without a suitable soundtrack for that special someone's special day. Hope your plans play out better than mine. There's no cover because, well, my computer ballsed out awhile ago and ate it, and I can't be bothered to make another one. Besides, at least the crappy cover art should be personalized, non?

Track List:

1) Happy Birthday - Sufjan Stevens
2) I Miss You Like I Miss You - Chad VanGaalen
4) Why Do They Leave? - Ryan Adams
6) Seen It All Before - Amos Lee

7) Soft Shock (acoustic) - Yeah Yeah Yeahs

8) 20 Good Years - The Racoons
9) The Loneliness Of A Tower Crane Driver - Elbow
10) I Go To The Barn Because I Like - Band Of Horses
11) Who Will? - Patrick Wolf
13) Just a Spark - Songs: Ohia
14) Trouble - Ray LaMontagne
15) I Put a Spell on You - Nina Simone
16) Dream Job - The Dears
17) Consequence - Notwist
18) It's Summertime - The Flaming Lips
19) Lover's Spit - Broken Social Scene

Notes on the Tracks

1) Happy Birthday - It strikes me as a little ironic, given the circumstances, that words 'your birthday brings a pardoning' are part of the lyrics. Sigh. Sufjan and Cryptacize are embarking on an East-of-Lake-Minnentonka tour in the fall. Sadly this means no western dates, but you bastards in the east can see them October 1st in Toronto at Lee's Place October 2nd in Montreal, at Cabaret du Musee Juste Pour Rire.

2) I Miss You Like I Miss You - I spat beer an an girl for being a douchbag at the last Chad VanGaalen show. True story. I will not be repeating that rather graceless act October 14th at Alix Goolden in Victoria or October 15 at The Rio in Vancouver. Mostly because I won't be there.

3) Words - I have Dan to thank for this introduction. So thanks cracka'. He's touring with Ani DiFranco in September, only Canadian date so far looks to be The Peg Sept 19th, and he's not listed as opening the Victoria date, which fills me with sadness.

4) Why Do They Leave? - Despite his media douchebaggery I still sort of love Ryan Adams. He crafts a lovely song. 'Nuff said.

5) Bella - Awww, man.... I've said it before ... I sort of want to live in a Amos and Julia Stone video. This is what I imagine all the couples that post lovely morning-in-bed, dusty, lens flarey photos at Le Love Image are listening to as they coo soft words of adoration to each other.

6) Seen It All Before - I never get tired of this album, though I've never really cottoned on to any other Amos Lee. I love how pure and effortless his voice is though.

7) Soft Shock (acoustic) - I will probably end up using every one of the acoustic tracks on this album. I could not crush harder on Karen O. It's just not possible.

8) 20 Good Years - I'm so all over The Racoons. You should be too, and there is plenty of opportunity. They're part of a free outdoor show August 25th on Broad Street between Pandora and Johnston and are playing Sept 24 during Rifflandia. Also, they're looking for people for a video shoot on Sept. 5th.

9) The Loneliness Of A Tower Crane Driver - Yep. Still love Elbow. Don't see that changing.

10) I Go To The Barn Because I Like - What, Ben, what’s in the barn that you like? Horses? Just a guess. I'll be solving that mystery September 5th at The Royal followed by Japandroids at Lucky. Ladies night, holla!

11) Who Will? - Patrick Wolf is lanky and beautiful and I think I got some of his sweat on me at the last show. Which is right up there with being showered by unicorn tears.

12) If You Want Me - If you haven't seen Once do yourself a favour and rent it. If my Mom ever returns it I might lend it to you. And keep an eye out for Swell Season to announce some US dates in support of Strict Joy. Which I must remember to buy.

13) Just a Spark - I had a lovely chat with Mr. Molina after the Seattle show a few weeks ago and he said that he didn't

come to Canada this time because he 'wasn't invited'. Atomique, Sealed with a Kiss, what's up with that? He also referred to Nova Scotia as 'the Scotia' which was sort of adorable. Amazing songwriter, now with better hair.

14) Trouble - Mr. LaMontagne will be gracing US audiences with November dates, but there are none announced for Canada yet. Boo.

15) I Put a Spell on You - There are many versions of this song that I dig (yes, that includes Marilyn Manson's), but you just can't beat Nina.

16) Dream Job - The Dears have sort of been off my Radar for a few years. After a show a few months ago they are back on it. Oh, and Murray claims he didn't get seated at a restaurant other band members were eating at because he's black. In Victoria. I shudder to think. Some sushi place, I have no idea which one.

17) Consequence - This song came to me via my bestest blond bud when I was toiling under the fist of my sociopathic cousin in Montreal. It got me through some rough days. It still does and I still love it. Ditto that hot little blond.

18) It's Summertime - Ok, we all know that The Flaming Lips are fucking awesome. But did you know that they host their hometown's Hallowe'en Parade? Finally, a reason to go to Oklahoma City.

19) Lover's Spit - Another love 'em or hate 'em band. Love. Clearly.

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