Thursday, September 24, 2015

And Sure As Days Come From Moments, Each Hour Becomes A Life's Time

Since this week is National Dog Week (September 20 - 26), I thought it presented an opportunity to discuss something a lot of animal lovers feel strongly about - rescue organizations. As you likely know, Daisy was rescued from a pretty unfortunate situation nearly 7 years ago. If it wasn't for Jack Russell Terrier Rescue Ontario (JRTRO), I can't say for sure where my little pigdog would be today.

I'd rather not think about it. I saw first-hand how she was living, and it still breaks my heart.

JRTRO, and other rescue organizations like it, are run by people working tirelessly to give dogs a loving home and better lives. It astounds me every day to read stories of animal abuse and neglect, and thanks to some good-hearted people these animals are often given a second chance. If I had it my way, I'd be able to rescue every dog I see up for adoption. But I can't. At least not until I become an old dog-lady, with a farm full of rescues, no human contact, and questionable sanity. Give it time; it'll happen.

But until then, here's the deal: thanks to PetSafe Canada, we have a giveaway for National Dog Week. There are toys, treats, & other great stuff that your dog will dig. In order to win, there usually isn't much to it. A tweet here, a comment there. But I want this one to be different.

To enter the contest to get some gear for your dog (or for someone else's dog, if you're feeling charitable), I want you to think of your favourite rescue organization. Maybe you got a pet from there, or you just know they do good work. I want you to share their info & spread the word. There are 5 ways to enter, using the widget below.

Maybe... just maybe... thanks to you, we can get more pets adopted.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks to PetSafe for the awesome dog swag. Good luck, and happy National Dog Week!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

With Lecture I Puncture The Structure Of Lies

Anyone who posts photos online is potentially setting themselves up for copycats. We all may realize this, but rarely think about it.  A few years back, strangers from all over the place were getting in touch with me and letting me know about people with Facebook accounts, Twitter accounts, and profiles on dating sites using my photos and passing them off as their own. Sometimes even using my blog posts as their personal updates.

At first I was furious. Then, probably even worse, I kinda got used to it. What could I do? Every time I managed to get one of their accounts shut down (which wasn't often, because it's not easily done), another one would inevitably pop up.

Fake Kris' everywhere. What a scary world that is.

In the years that have passed since my first outraged announcement about these false accounts, I haven't blogged any more about them. But they're still around. Maybe less often, possibly since I hardly post anymore, but it still happens quite a bit. Every once in awhile someone, usually male, will message me and let me know that he had been speaking to someone online for an extended amount of time, and they used my photos as their own. Sometimes guys thought they were dating these girls online, only to find that the photos actually belonged to some chick in Canada. Me.

Then, recently, I got this one via direct Instagram message, along with a photo of a painting:

I didn't respond right away, and then when I was going to (to write this post), he had deleted the picture and messages he sent. Fair enough. It's always an awkward conversation when people think they're friends or even in a relationship with someone and then realize it's all been fake, and the photos are of someone else entirely. I get it.

So why bother bringing this up again, since I've already called these people out in old (very old) posts? I figure they're due for another reminder. I may now watermark photos of myself and post fewer pictures with me actually in them, but it doesn't stop this from happening. The only way to truly stop it is to stay offline and go analog, hiding away somewhere like a mole-person. And I'm not doing that, though it almost sounds kinda fun, because that makes it parallel to being bullied. These people aren't worth it.

The truth is, this doesn't piss me off as much as it used to. But I do feel bad for the guys and girls who are being lied to. Without going into too much detail, some of these stories have been sad. People have been hurt, all by someone who didn't really exist.

If you're one of those losers who has the genius idea to steal someone's photos online, pass them off as your own to mess around with another person, please - don't bother. It's a useless endeavor, and one that needlessly harms others. Inevitably, they do some searching and figure it out. They come to me, and sometimes we can do some digging and learn exactly who YOU are. I don't want to hear made up back stories about where I got my dog, where I'm from, or even how you felt when your (my) family member passed away. Use your own stories, your own photos, and stop watching Catfish and thinking it's a good idea.

It isn't.

Yeah, what she said. Do that.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Hold On To Me Tightly I'm A Sliding Scale; Can't Endure Then You Can't Inhale

I'm lazy. This is a fact we all know, judging by how little I post these days. So this week we've got a guest post from my friend Adam - you may remember him from such films as "Dude, Where's My Czar?", and "Debbie Does Dallas (A Favour By Feeding The Homeless)". Or, you may just know him from past posts, like the one about the book he wrote

Yeah. That guy.

A few weeks ago over some beers and conversation that normal folks wouldn't understand, Adam made the poor choice of volunteering to guest post. So here it is. Adam's foray into blogging, featuring made-up stuff. Enjoy (?):


Here we are. You – the intent reader, and me – the often confused and less-than-stable-minded writer. You’re sitting there, reading the words I’ve written, anticipating something intelligent, moving or entertaining to be said and I’m sitting here writing words waiting for something intelligent, moving or entertaining to just show up in the form of the English language.

The sad truth is I volunteered myself to guest-write on this blog without actually thinking of any content. I was told specifically that I could write about anything I wanted.

I combed over a few ideas in my head, but ultimately they were all Trumped by this one piece of cliché advice I received from a friend: “write what you know.”

Wait, write what I know? I think maybe the only thing I know for sure is that I know nothing at all. My actual job, my 9 to 5, pay-the-bills, pay-the-rent job is a copy writer. What does a copy writer do? Makes shit up. Yes, I’m a professional make-shit-upper.

So write what I know. I know how to make shit up. So…. away we go.

So there’s this chick on the subway and she’s all reading this book and like her dog is there, too right? So like this chick is reading and like she’s kinda hot so these dudes are all eye-ballin’ her like they're caged wolves staring at raw steak.

So chick is all “OMG these dudes are all up in my business and I’m too cool to talk to any of them cuz they’re all losers n’ junk” – but not like…out loud n’ shit – more like in her head n’ shit.

So dudes is all “OMG I want to treat this chick like a pre-booked hotel room – get into it without having to talk to anyone or do anything special.”

So Dude A walks up to her and is all “Yo baby can I get yo numbah?” and chick is all “No bro you used ‘yo’ instead of ‘your’ – and thus said ‘yo’ twice so let me say this twice so you can be sure - NO-NO. Like a yo-yo but no-no.” And Dude A is all disheartened n’ shit and he’s all “Yo whatever yo” and exits the train while chick is all “HE JUST DID IT AGAIN!”

So Dude B walks up to this chick and is all “OMG you are so hot I could melt butter on you” and chick is all “NO HABLAS ANGLAIS” then Dude B is all “but I just heard you talking to Dude A” and she’s all “pardonez moi, si vous plais” which REALLY confuses Dude B cuz he’s pretty sure she does, in fact, speak English but now he’s wondering if the acid he took earlier is just now kicking in…so he leaves the train all like “ARE THE WORDS I’M USING STILL ENGLISH?! AHHHHHH HELP ME!!!”

So Dude C swags up to chick and is all “I’m Dude. I have lots of money cuz I’m a doctor. Friends call me Dr. Dude since I’m such a dude” and chick is all “I have no idea what that means” and Dr. Dude is all “OMG you’re speaking English to me” and chick is all “cuz I feel bad for you” then Dr. Dude’s like “why? I’m rich and fancy and sexy and dude” and chick is all “money can’t buy another chance for you to make a first impression” and he’s all “are you sure?” and pulls out this wad of bills. But chick is unimpressed with his material wealth, hugs her dog and says “I got everything I need right here with my bitch”.

But then Chris Pratt walks in, chick’s eyes meet his, they communicate telepathically and fall in love instantly.

Moral of the story: as long as you have a penis, making a good first impression on a female is next to impossible unless you’re Chris Pratt.


Praise be Pratt.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Hear The Wind Within The Trees, Telling Mother Nature 'Bout You & Me

I want to share my story of a boy I loved.

He hasn't been on this site for awhile, but for many years I posted about him often. Obsessively, even. Jack was my first dog. He belonged to my ex, Craig, and I quickly fell in love with this sweet and crazy little Jack Russell.

By the time we moved in together, Jack and I were already family.

When we did co-habitate, I was freelancing at home a lot. It was just me and Jack (and our cat, Booey), and he was my best buddy. I spent my days with him, and so he was the subject of many blog posts, because every photo was somehow adorable and every video was hilarious (as anyone who recalls his reaction to the word "chihuahua" can attest to).

I loved him.

But Jack was also a pain in the ass - he was a stubborn barker with a penchant for eating clothes, blankets, beds and anything else we didn't want him to eat. He could be so obstinate that you'd want to pull your hair out, then he'd tilt his head and give you those big brown eyes and you'd want to hug him.

That was Jack. You couldn't stay mad at him for too long.

Eventually, we got Daisy from the same rescue organization Jack came from so we'd have two of these dogs to love, and so they'd have each other.

It was a rough start, but they came to love each other as we hoped they would. They were buds. Thick as four-legged thieves.


Though they no longer lived together after Craig and I separated, they remained the very best of pals. They would go on long walks in High Park and play together often.

I'd have Jack stay with me for a few days here and there, and I know Daisy liked having him around (for the most part - at least until he'd inevitably eat her blankets or chew her bed.) She could kick his ass, and he'd kiss her in the middle of it. He'd have seizures, and she would lie beside him.That was dog love.

Sadly, my sweet Jack passed away earlier this week. He was a fighter - his epilepsy and seizures caused near-misses throughout his life, but he kept pushing through. In the end, it was his lungs that became the problem.

The news broke my heart and made me hold Daisy a little tighter.

These few words and old photos can't really explain how much I love and will miss Jack. It's not something I can verbalize. Looking through years of pictures has made me unbelievably sad because of the loss, but also brings a bittersweet happiness due to the memories of my crazy little dog.

Without him, I really would have missed out. I never would have become the dog-loving (ok, dog-obsessed) person I am today, I wouldn't have Daisy, my family wouldn't have Roxie, and I likely would never know the unconditional love of a pet. He brought all of that to me.

So, to Jack... my first dog, and the boy that changed me... thank you. For so much.

Lots of love from me and Daisy. We will never forget you. xo

A video from 2008. Jack the Destroyer.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Brace For The Glory As You Stare Into The Sky

Though I've intended to be in Toronto regularly, it's been awhile since I got back - things get in the way. It happens. But recently I managed to carve out three days to spend in my other home, the city I'll never refer to as "the 6".

My main reason? Deftones. Cue your surprised faces. Fake 'em, if you have to.

Yes, Deftones. The subject of many a blog post on here, due to my big love for them.

They were playing Edgefest (Edgefest 2, to be exact), along with Incubus. I've loved Incubus since I was a wee little brat, and have never seen them live before. So, Deftones + Incubus = a show I must attend. And attend I did.

I hadn't been to Echo Beach before (the song just became your earworm, for those of you old enough to know it), but it's a pretty cool venue.

Weird to be standing on sand during a rock and/or roll show, but I do appreciate being exfoliated while I fangirl.

We all know how terrible my concert photos are, but bear with me as I attack you all with roughly 8.2 trillion pics of Chino singing and dancing in his Morrissey shirt.

Ok, 8.3 trillion.

Look, it's Stef! Not a Chino photo.

I have evolved as a human person.

You never know who you may run into at any given concert - Hi Meli!

And back to Chino. Sorry. (I'm not really sorry.)

This one's different, he's playing guitar!

My photos are vast and varied. Complex, even.

And then this happened.

Anthony, who you may remember as A Book for Wanderers, managed to get invited up on stage to sing Maynard's parts on Passenger. It took me a minute to figure out it was him, and I'll probably have to slightly hate him out of jealousy for the rest of my life.

Lucky bastard.

 Look, a sunset!

Aaaand Incubus.

I may or may not have had a bet going to see how many songs Brandon Boyd could last without taking his shirt off. I guessed three.

As you can see, I was only partially right by the third song.

But eventually he thought, "Waitaminute now, I'm allergic to shirts! Be gone, vile button-up!".

And so the shirt was gone.

I will say, shirt or no shirt, snowsuit or no snowsuit, the man is beautiful.

It's almost painful how pretty he is.

They were amazing. The only tiny, small, miniscule item I take issue with is that they didn't play enough of the older stuff. Not much from "S.C.I.E.N.C.E.", or "Fungus Amongus".

But that's really just my age showing. Kids these days aren't into those tunes, they weren't born when the albums came out. Darn kids, ruining this old broad's night out from the seniors home.

Overall - kickass bands, kickass sets, a kickass night.

Made me want to follow them for the rest of their tour.

Afterwards, it was to the ol' village for a drink with Bob, who some of you may remember from past posts. Y'know, back when I used to post often. Or at all.

(I apologize to everyone else I saw during my visit, I took no photos of you. Only those in my brain.)

And the next day, I did some solo stuff.

I attempted to hang out on this balcony, but it's ten stories up (or technically 20?), and I'm afraid of heights. Hence the face.

I lasted 3 minutes.

Then I streetcar'd across the city to wander around my favourite place in all of Toronto - High Park.

I can't even express how much I miss living across the street from it, and spending time every day here. I love the crap out of it. There's nowhere better.

These guys, the Barbary Sheep, look a lot like Daisy when they're first born. She used to stand there and they'd stare at each other for awhile, confused. Fun to watch.

I can tell you're overwhelmed by the excitement.

I used to take work breaks and sit on this hill for awhile.

It would've been pretty relaxing that day as usual, if not for the couple behind me, making out furiously as though they just found out they were both going to die tomorrow.

I asked if they understood the mechanics involved in conceiving a baby, but they didn't answer. They were busy.

Sitting. Thinkin' 'bout pizza.

And then it was back to Niagara to squish my little pigdog. I missed her.

While I did manage to see a bunch of people during this visit, I hope to see more of you next time. Yes, that means you. (Probably.)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

But In A Strange Way, I Know Somehow We're Doomed

Most people are well-aware of my love for all things Chino Moreno. Ever since the mid-nineties, I've had a borderline (and sometimes not-so-borderline) obsession with the Deftones frontman. In recent years I've calmed down a bit with the Chino-craziness, but I'm still fairly biased and tend to fangirl for whatever he does, even before I've heard it.

While Deftones has always been his main gig, there have been a few other projects over the years. Team Sleep, Palms, etc. They never outshone the Deftones for me, I've mostly been a relatively peripheral fan.

But of them all, Crosses has quickly become my favourite.

Crosses - also known as ††† - has Chino partnering up with Far guitarist Shaun Lopez and Chuck Doom. While it's easy to compare any project Chino does vocals on to Deftones, Crosses are more chilled out and melodic, with ambient and electronic touches. (Or,  to put it simply - they're not the Deftones, and they're still frickin' amazing.)

They first released one song, The Epilogue, back in 2013. That was enough to get me hooked, and the full-length self-titled album does not disappoint. For me, the stand out songs are The Epilogue, Bitches Brew, Telepathy, & This is a Trick, respectively. But the entire album is fantastic, and will have you awkwardly chair-dancing and grooving like an idiot. That, to me, is often the mark of a good band - they pass the chair-dance test.

Even if you're not a Deftones/Chino Moreno fan in general, I still highly recommend giving this album a listen.

It's been an addictive one.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Are You Experienced?

Father's Day is coming up, and usually around this time I'm racking my brain trying to think of something for my dad. For someone I'm so similar to, you'd think I'd have no trouble. He's one of the reasons for my musical tastes, my strange humour, and some of my quirky behaviours that don't always make sense to anyone else. We tend to have the same train of thought which, if you know us, is kinda scary.

Ok, it's very scary. But it's a good thing.

You may now kiss the fish. (But you probably shouldn't.)

And yet, even with all that, I tend to have a hard time figuring out gifts for my dad. Whether for Christmas, his birthday, or Father's Day, it always seems impossible to find the right thing. This year my sister and I maybe kinda sorta cheated by giving our parents a joint Mother's Day/Father's Day gift a month back. Hey, it made sense! Parents are always hard to shop for. You know I'm right.

But for you guys? If you're having a tough time, here's something that just might fit the bill for your pops. I'm giving away a $100 LifeExperiences gift card that can be used toward dining, adventure-y trips, pampering, and many other types of experiences - they offer over 500 experiences across Canada.

Studies have shown that experiential gifts bring more happiness than material ones, so this would be perfect for dads. And the best part is that they get to choose which experience they'd like, so you can't go wrong.

 (Although if you choose to keep it for yourself, I won't judge. Really.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
If you don't win but still dig the idea, LifeExperiences certificates and gift cards can be purchased through their website, with some offers at Shoppers Drug Mart locations. But still - I hope you win. I like the cut of your jib.

G'luck! And Happy (upcoming) Father's Day to my dad, and all of yours!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Wallflower Waltzin', The Locomotive Crawlin'

I used to go overboard with photos.

I took them constantly - of anywhere I went,  anyone I was with. There were always photos.
No caption does this photo justice - NYE '08

We all did this. But I don't anymore. At some point I stopped keeping track of everything for posterity's sake, and I thought that was a good thing. Hey, I'm a grown up - I don't have to take photos of everything anymore! Progress! 

What, you don't hug like that? - Fall 2007
But... I dunno if that's true. Because of things like Timehop and now the daily Facebook Memories, I see all those damn photos I constantly took years ago and I remember some great times with kickass people. And THAT'S  the point.

Remembering, even the most mundane things. 
We mustache you a question. No really, where'd you get that jacket? - 2010

Sometimes it's bittersweet, because so much can change (ok, so everything changes. All of it). But without some of these photos, I just might forget.

I'd forget people who I've lost touch with, specific events that were pretty important at the time, and even just the same ol' people doing the same ol' thing - when you look back at it, it doesn't seem so run-of-the-mill. It's a memory of what we used to do, or who we used to be.

And that's kinda awesome.
Impromptu pine photoshoot at the Powerball - 2009

So I'm going to start making an effort to take more photos, keep more memories.

Be warned. You just might be a part of it.

We dunno, man. We just don't. - Summer 2007

Because years from now, I don't want to look back at 2015 and have no recollection of anything that happened other than my dog being a friggin' weirdo.

I wanna remember that the rest of us were friggin' weirdos, too.

Pizza, naps & peni - Fall 2014

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