Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I'm A Searchlight Soul They Say, But I Can't See It In The Night

A few Sundays ago (ok, many Sundays ago - major delays are what the cool kids are into, right?), I hit the Soundgarden/ Nine Inch Nails show at Ye Olde Molson Amphitheatre.


My partner in crime for this particular show was my friend Brad, who thankfully sent me all of his pics since mine were absolute garbage.

(Thanks, dude!)


In case you can't tell, we were relegated to the lawns - the majority of good seats went to pre-sale and your ol' pal Kris missed out. But hey, it's alright! The lawn is a party itself anyway. It was a warm, sunny day. We were about to check out two of my favourite bands (one which I've never seen live before).

What was there to complain about?


...and then, not long after Soundgarden took the stage, the black clouds came, the sky opened up, and in came the downpour.


While I'm glad I had some foresight to bring my half-broken (and thus weaponized) umbrella, it didn't do much to protect me from that damn rain. It carried on throughout both sets with no signs of stopping.

And so everyone on the lawn was united - we were one huge puddle of fans.



It was worth it, however.

Having never seen Soundgarden before, I can happily say that their set was fantastic, myothersecretboyfriend Chris Cornell still has one of the best voices in music, and Kim Thayil is cooler than anyone, ever. And while Matt Cameron was not on drums (likely due to Pearl Jam's upcoming tour), Cornell still introduced the drummer as Matt Cameron. So I'm counting it.

Plus they played "Fell on Black Days", so even that asshat rain wasn't enough to ruin the show.


As for Nine Inch Nails? Well, after this concert I heard/read a lot of people saying that it was the best live show they've seen. But since I also saw them in October & obviously blogged about it, I won't bore you with my fangirling and uber-awe of all things Reznor The Ageless and NIN. Needless to say, it was amazing. As expected.

Even in the pouring rain.



Thursday, July 24, 2014

Because We Separate Like Ripples On A Blank Shore

Since I turned another year older this past weekend, I figured that my first post as a 31 year old should have something to do with getting older, & being a real live adult. Because sometimes I am that. But only sometimes.

There was a time when I wouldn't leave the house without my cell phone. Never. And if I accidentally did, it felt like I had temporarily lost a limb. (That's not at all over-dramatic, is it?) But at some point this past year, I started going on my daily dog walks without the phone. Three times a day, I've been disconnected and completely unreachable.Oh, did you need to call me and ask about my current long distance plan? Sorry, buddy. Left my phone at home.

Daisy stops to smell the flowers on my balcony. They smell like happiness and regret.

I spend hours a day in High Park, wandering through different areas & finding new hidden spots I haven't seen before. I used to take endless photos of the beautiful landscape - the trees, the water, the flowers, the animals, Daisy peeing on a fence while growling at an emu (really.). And now that I'm usually camera-less on these walks, I can no longer take constant photos of all the pretty things. Instead, I'm just enjoying them. Even "experiencing" them, if you wanna get nerdy about it. I don't always need a photo to make the most of things - maybe just sometimes.

If a tree falls in the forest and no one takes a selfie with it, then did the tree actually fall? Yes. Yes it did.

It isn't just about not taking photos, though. Being without the ever-present smartphone means that for a short little while no one can contact me. No texts, no emails, no calls, no social media. A lot of people around my age, especially fellow entrepreneurial types, work way too much - we are always, always connected. We need a break.

Yesterday I sat on a bench in the park, looking out over some tree-lined hills, gardens and water. There was a nice breeze, hardly any people around, and I just sat there doing absolutely nothing while Daisy played in the grass beside me. I just... sat. It was kinda perfect. When was the last time you did nothing?

We all suffered through that pain-in-the-ass Polar Vortex this past year; we've earned the summer & warmer weather. So the point of this post is this - take advantage of it. Take advantage of the bright early mornings, the warm afternoons and the light evenings. They all have an expiration date.

Get the hell outside - and leave your phone at home. (At least once.)

Ned Stark knows what I'm talkin' about.

Because winter is coming.



Thursday, July 17, 2014

Into The Flood Again, Same Old Trip It Was Back Then

It's been a long time since I've slapped everyone upside the head with my Grammar PSA from an Asshole posts. So I'd say we're due, wouldn't you? Because frankly, some of this stuff has been piling up in my brain and making me crazy - it would be selfish not to share this with you guys. So now (hopefully) we can prevent people from angering us with their non-words and messed up punctuation.

Are we ready? No? Too bad. 
My dogs are laughing at your bad grammar.

Here are a few new offenses:

1. Should've / Should Of (Would've, Could've, etc)

Example of Misuse:

 "I should of listened in grade 2 English class."
I'm confused, is "of listened" a verb? In that case, let's all go "of listening" this weekend. You drive.

Word explanations:

Look, I may be a well-intentioned but imperfect Grammar Asshole - but I'm not a total asshole. I understand where people got this from, I'm just making an attempt in vain to fix it. So here's the info: should've is a contraction, a substitute for "should have". See? Simple! The problem is that people (and I do mean us as a whole) are lazy; they hear "should've" and think it means "should of".

But come on. You're smarter than that. What the hell is a should of?!

*I realized after posting that this offense was included in my first Grammar Asshole post. Bears repeating. (And no, not bear's repeating.)


2. Nuptials vs. Nuptuals

Example of Misuse:

"I'm so excited for your upcoming nuptuals!"
Well, unless "nuptuals" is another word for "use of non-existent words", your sentence is untrue.

Word Explanation:

We tend to take real words and change the way they're pronounced - again, because we're lazy. The correct word for a wedding is nuptial. Nup-shuhl. But for some reason, everyone pronounces this fairly easy word nup-shoo-al.

And that is wrong. Now you know. So stop it.

Remember Jim & Pam's nuptials? That was, like, so nuptual of them.

3. Seen and Saw

Example of Misuse:

"I seen your mom at the grocery store - she says you're awful."
Since it's impossible to seen a person, I'm betting you saw her. And she's right - I am awful.


Word Explanations:

I know this one confuses the crap out of you, my lovelies. I know that. So lemme help. Unless you're throwing "have" in between the words, don't use "I seen"! The sentence above should be "I saw your mom at the grocery store" - but if you've been hangin' out at your local Loblaws way too much and my mom happens to have been there too, then you can say "I've seen your mom at the grocery store". But you never, ever, EVER just plain "seen" anything.

Am I getting through to you? No? Ok, on to the next.

See this? You've now seen a saw.

 4. It's vs. Its

Example of Misuse:

"I just moved to a new house; its modern."
Its modern does what? And how does a house have its very own modern?! Ouch. My brain.

"The goat at the zoo is feeding it's babies."
That sentence says the goat is feeding it is babies. Yes, feeding it is babies. You think about that and tell me if it makes sense. Go on, I'll wait.

Word Explanations:

Its - this is the possessive form of "it". "The pig ate its dinner" makes sense, because it is the pig's damn food and he can do whatever he wants with it.

It's - this is a contraction for "it is" or "it has". For example, "It's been a slice, but I'm tired of bitching about grammar."

If you're still confused, try this: when you're unsure whether your sentence needs "it's" or "its", try replacing it with "it is". If it works, use the contraction. If it sounds completely stupid, you're going to want the possessive version. Ya dig?

It's a pig eating its ice cream. On a tiny blue picnic table, as pigs do.

I think I've smacked you in the head enough with this, but here are a couple of quick hits so I can sleep better at night. Sleep is important.:

-  Expresso is not a word. The word you want is espresso. Unless it's really fast coffee.
-  "I could care less" means that you do care. You couldn't care less. You're heartless.
-  Anyway, toward, afterward - none of these words end with an "s". I promise.
-  "All intensive purposes" is not really what you meant, for all intents and purposes.
-  Irregardless is still not a word, regardless of how often you use it.


And after all of this, please remember that I only want what's best for you & your grammar. (And for me, because I have to read your Facebook posts.)


Friday, July 4, 2014

Heard It In The Wind & Saw It In The Sky

Bless me blogger, for I have sinned. It's been one month and two days since my last post, and these are my lame excuses.

Whoa. Apparently even when you haven't been to church in over a decade and Catholic school was a billion ages ago, some of that stuff just sticks with you - no matter how non-religious you may be. That's some religious glue right there.

But I digress. Hi. I have nothing of note to throw at your eyeballs in this particular post, more or less just checking in to let those who have wondered know I'm not dead (sorry), to explain that all work and no play makes Kris a boring chick (seriously), and to let you know that a preying mantis has only one ear (unrelated, but an informative tidbit nonetheless).

Pigs like fun stuff 'n junk.
I have about 6 or 7 half-written blog posts hiding in the ol' drafts folder, waiting for someone to make the time to properly finish them. I have not been that person. But as the summer rolls on, going way too fast as it always does, I'm forcing myself to make more time for the non work-related stuff. Step away from the spreadsheets and lists that don't necessarily need the constant updating, and go do more shit. Maybe that decision is a result of me thinking a lot about getting older (since I'm turning 31 on the 19th, my twenties are a distant memory at this point), and I worry that I'll regret not doing more.

And, of course, I will. I'll regret it.

Therefore, this is my attempt at remembering that a lot of my job can be fun, or I wouldn't bother working for myself. And that a balance between work and play is doable. Essential, even. So I've started planning more fun things for my summer and beyond, & am looking forward to learning how to relax a little more. I'm hoping some of you guys are going to assist me with that challenge. Just yell "Get away from the computer, you jackass!" and give me a beer. Easy.

Well, look at that. This post about abso-damn-lutely nothing went off on an odd tangent. See? I just made time for a tangent! That's called progress.

Happy Friday, Folks!




Monday, June 2, 2014

Inside A Broken Clock, Splashing The Wine With All The Rain Dogs

This is not the usual topic I blog about - the bathroom habits of my dog aren't exactly thrilling reading material. But, when I was asked to do this giveaway I realized that I know a lot of people who could more than take advantage of this product. I'm looking at you, dog owners.

This past winter was rough. I usually walk Daisy a minimum of 6k per day, but that damn Polar Vortex made it pretty difficult - Daisy hated leaving the house. At that time, the Pet Loo would've definitely come in handy and made our lives easier. It's a "backyard in a box", a portable indoor/outdoor toilet for pets that is self-contained and cleans up easily - awesome for people in high-rise apartments, those who work long hours and can't always get back to their dogs in time, pets who are prone to accidents, etc.

To show off the Pet Loo for you folks, here's Daisy doing her very best Vanna White impression. (Yes, I realize that mentioning Vanna White makes me sound old. Darn you kids and your new-fangled pop culture references.)


Just to be clear, Daisy is only standing on the Pet Loo and giving it the initial once-over. I'm pretty certain you all understand how it works, without needing an actual photo tutorial. So I'll spare you that.


I ended up putting the Pet Loo on my back balcony, where it fit perfectly without getting in the way at all & will hopefully distract her from my flowers on the front balcony. Because of our frequent walks, I haven't yet taught Daisy to use it - but so far she likes lying on it in the sun. I guess that counts for something. Dogs dig it.

We've got one Pet Loo to give away ($159.99 value) or a self-cleaning Simply Clean Litter Box system if you're more of a cat person ($139.99 value), on behalf of PetSafe Canada - just enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. Contest is open to Canadian residents only. (Sorry Sweden.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Come Outside & Breathe In, Relax Your Arms & Let Me In

We've all got it. Old junk lying around, possibly in drawers (y'know, the aptly named "junk drawers"), stuff we never use again. Have you ever noticed that a lot of it is just old, obsolete technology?

I'm guilty of this. Currently, there's a drawer in my bedside table that holds not one, not two, but three old cell phones, old chargers, MP3 players, and similar items. I seem to like holding onto these things; in previous years I had kept old cameras, a VCR (some of you are too young to know what that is - I might cry just thinking about that), and other ancient relics.

Here are a few examples of mine. Oh, the shame. The horror. The stupidity of keeping a broken phone.


There's just no point.

Well, here's an opportunity to "Break Up With Your Stuff", and possibly win a little something as well. RecycleYourElectronics.ca is spreading the message of recycling electronics with a short video that
shows the potential consequences of being someone that stores old out-of-use gadgets around their place.
Yes, that means you.



Many of us have no idea what to do with all of this old tech - they don't belong in landfills, they're actually items that can be recycled. 80% of people aged 18-34 says they would recycle a water bottle, and 40% say they would recycle their old electronics. And yet... only 20% have actually done it. Visit RecycleYourElectronics.ca to find the secure drop-off location closest to where you live and get rid of some of that old junk. Make room for new junk!

I showed you some of mine, now show me yours: Tweet me (@ShambledRambler) with a picture of your outdated electronics, and mention @ecycleOntario and #BreakUpWithYourStuff. You could win a $50 Visa gift card.(Possibly to buy new electronic gadgets that will be obsolete in a few years? It only seems right.)

I look forward to the photos! Good luck.



Thursday, May 22, 2014

You're Far Beyond A Visible Sign Of Your Awakening

Life's been pretty busy lately - work has been absolutely hectic, and I haven't had a lot of time to get away from my to-do list. Luckily, Samba Days gave me the perfect excuse.

This time, my Sambassador duty included heading over to Chi Spa for a much-needed massage. Yeah, I know. Tough life. But after a morning of meetings, yet another 5am wake-up call & then getting caught in a downpour, I was more than ready to turn off my brain for awhile. I likely forgot to turn it back on.

Robed.

I visited the spa as part of the Samba Days Gift Card Offers which, as the name suggests, make an awesome gift. (Hint hint, Father's day is coming up - don't buy into the macho hype, men need spa massages too. Trust me.)
No photos past this point. Shhh.

It served as a good reminder that I need to stop and chill out every once in awhile. Forget the phone, the computer, the work, and do something for myself. (What I'm really trying to say - more massages!) It's important, and I know a lot of people like myself who fail to take that time. I'm sure I work a hell of a lot more productively with less knots in my neck and shoulders.

To take advantage of this for yourself, or buy a gift for someone else, visit the Samba Days Deal Boutique and check out all the options. If massage isn't your thing, there are tons of restaurant cards. Who doesn't like food? (Bet your dad does. Yes, another reminder that Father's Day is next month. You won't forget now. You're welcome.)

Fast forward a bit and I'm in St. Catharines visiting the folks for a few days, and hope to make time for some more relaxation in the form of patios, beer, and awesome people.

See ya in awhile, Trawnna.








Sunday, May 11, 2014

I've Got A Good Mother, & Her Voice Is What Keeps Me Here

On or around Mother's Day, I tend to post my favourite mom-related songs. Unfortunately, they aren't always so mom-friendly, and my own mom isn't really a fan of 'em.

Today, I'll continue that tradition. And, for my amazing & awesome mother, I'll add some specifically for her that are more "aw" than "rawr".

But first - Danzig. Because I still belt this out on a regular basis.



Next, the one my mom likes the least - Tracy Bonham's "Mother Mother":



I can't really leave out Pink Floyd, can I?



On a nicer note, the Spice Girls thought their moms were lovely people.



Back before email and Facebook, Ozzy gave his ETA via song. Very considerate of him:



My mom is more of a McCartney fan, but as a Beatles lover I'm sure she digs Lennon just fine:



 Boys II Men loved their mamas. I know this because they sang it. In harmony. Harmony doesn't lie.


And Jann Arden had a good mother, so that's nice. I have one of those, too.

Therefore this one's especially for you, mom.



Happy Mother's Day, mom! Thanks for everything, always. Love you.

Friday, May 9, 2014

I'm A Sure-Fire Assassin, Not So Sure Of What I'm Meant To Do

It's no secret that I have a fairly substantial list of talented female musicians that I consider my "girl crushes". That's a terrible way to describe them, as it's more of a crazy respect, a good dose of awe, and maybe a slight wish that these women were my best friends, girlfriends, or a big ol' blend of both. Really, these women just kick ass.

And at the top of my list, Brody Dalle has been a mainstay for years.


Back when Brody fronted The Distillers, I was hooked as soon as I heard them. This chick was a badass, and at the time there seemed to be a severe lack of these tough yet accessible women in music. She was unapolagetic and refreshing.

Coral Fang became the soundtrack to an old summer breakup (which was fitting, as they recorded it the same year as her divorce to Rancid's Tim Armstrong), and to this day I can throw that album on and change my mood completely. It's an automatic SLRDP (Solo Living Room Dance Party, for the uninformed) every damn time.

The Distillers

Fast forward a few years - the Distillers broke up, Brody put out an album with Spinnerette, married Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age (and yes, I'd marry them both.), had a couple of adorable kids with him, & went solo. Just this past week she released her debut solo album, Diploid Love.

And all is well with the world.
Best. Couple Ever.
She played The Horseshoe this past Wednesday as part of Canadian Music Week - somehow it was my first time seeing her live, and  it was as amazing as I'd anticipated. A good mix of her new tunes, old Distillers & Spinnerette songs, and typical Brody badass-edness (it's a word. Shut up.).

I should be nice and spare you my awful blurry shots from the evening, so here is a stolen one.

The Horseshoe

If you haven't had a chance to check out the new album yet, do so now - fans of Brody will love it, and non-fans might just hop on the Dalle bandwagon. Join us. It's nice here.


Friday, May 2, 2014

When I Am King, You Will Be First Against The Wall

It's a long-standing joke among some family members that my dad stopped sleeping once both of his daughters were living in Toronto. When I started living alone over three years ago, that probably didn't help matters much either. Sorry, Dad.

It isn't about being overprotective or convinced that I can't take care of myself - my parents worry about my safety mainly because they're not here; they can't always know that I'm safe. And that incident with the cab driver a few years back didn't calm their worries by any means. Neither do the reports of assault that we constantly hear about. But if those kinds of things are going to keep me locked up in my apartment, afraid of what may happen, then what's the point of living here at all?

Option #2
Lately a lot of articles have popped up about a new free service called Kitestring. It's pretty simple - you set up emergency contacts and an emergency message, then let the service know you're heading out. You set the time (depending how long you think your trip from A to B will be), and they text you when that time passes to make sure you made it to your destination safely.

If you don't respond, they let your emergency contacts know by sending out the message you set beforehand. You can use it via browser or text.

The default emergency message

On Saturday night I decided to give it a try. I had set up my contacts a few days prior, saved my emergency message, & had the Kitestring number on my phone. I was taking a cab home from downtown and gave myself a one-hour window to get there.

This is how it worked:



Because I texted "Ok", they knew I was home safe and didn't need to send a message to my emergency contacts.

Easy peasy.

Though it may seem like it, this is not a sponsored post. Kitestring has never contacted me, or vice versa. I just think it's a simple tool that can offer a bit of peace of mind - both for ourselves, and for those who worry about us.

So go forth and be safe, my grasshoppers. Because even if no one else does, your ol' pal Kris cares about your well-being (and your ability to go out and grab a beer without worry).


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